There are millions of people who churn out exquisite handicraft items, but their reach is limited to local buyers or to middlemen who cream away the profits. If you are in this category and wish to monetize your art and craft, then an online presence is an absolute must to increase sales, get better benefits by reaching the customer directly, and in the process, improve your popularity too! Engaging an ecommerce web development company is the first step to achieve this goal.
Avoid online marketplaces
Some handicraft artists are business savvy, but most would much rather focus on their art and leave the business to others. Many people think that just listing products on an existing online marketplace is a ticket to easy success. Think again. It is indisputable that joining a Flipkart, Amazon, Paytm Mall or even a Myntra does get you a steady stream of orders. However, there are some other important aspects to consider as well:
- These marketplaces charge hefty commissions ranging anywhere between 10% to 40% plus seller fees. Calculate revenues lost to such commissions over a one-year period and then again, over five years, and you will see that you have paid them a substantial amount.
- Joining marketplaces means you miss out on developing your own unique identity in the worldwide web. This is important as we shall see later in this post.
- They have strict rules and sometimes, replacements/refunds, weighed in favor of buyers, which could cause you unforeseen losses. You cannot set your terms and your business plans – long term and short term – might be skewed because of such incidents.
These are cogent reasons for you to consider developing an ecommerce website of your own with the help of experts in custom ecommerce development. You create your brand and your unique identity with an online presence.
Is it expensive?
Setting up a store on Amazon (or other marketplaces) is free. However, you pay a commission on each sale and keep paying. In comparison, you only have to pay an ecommerce web development company once to set up your website and help you launch your handicraft products online. And having done this, you can:
- Set your own prices, not dictated by competitors
- Set your own terms
- Brand your product
When people search the web for handicrafts they will come across your website and navigate to it. If you were in a marketplace, it is unlikely that your brand will stand out.
Ecommerce site, not a plain website
These days people have very short attention spans and want to complete tasks as quickly as possible. A few years ago, sellers would have a plain website, after looking at which visitors would telephone you, and you would provide them with a quote for your items, following which you would get paid for the product and then dispatch it!
Customers these days want to complete the entire transaction online with minimal interaction, and only need support in case they are looking for something more or are stuck at any point (which should be limited to as few a number as possible). Visitors, when they arrive at your site expect:
- To view the product
- Know its price and availability
- Want to be able to place an order and make a payment on the same page
Therefore, right from the start, conceive your online presence as an ecommerce website. You can post informative articles, blogs, and have interactive forums on your site, which is something you may not get on an online marketplace. You build clientele and following and can promote your store in different ways.
Tying to other online presence
An ecommerce website is a fulcrum. It is important to also maintain a social media presence in parallel on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest, with links pointing to your ecommerce site. This is professional, gives you an opportunity to build and promote the brand and to establish your reputation. Plus, your social media side can build groups of followers who promote your site and products.
This is a better route to take than just posting the availability of a fresh batch of sarees on Facebook and WhatsApp. It works but does not project a professional image. It is a personal thing. With an ecommerce site of your own and a brand, you have a business image. You can post offers and promotions on social media and create landing pages on your ecommerce site. You get talked about and your popularity increases.
Your price, your terms
One of the biggest advantages of owning your branded ecommerce site is that you can set your price. This can be lower than what you would have to fix if you were to sell the same item on marketplaces online since you will have to factor in seller fees and commissions. This means your handicraft items can be priced lower. You can sell more or less, but you make a solid profit.
You can build personalized relationships with customers who will recommend your site to others in their circle. You can decide whether to give replacements or refunds. You are your own master when you have an ecommerce site for handicrafts put in place with the help of an ecommerce web development company.
Think long term if you wish to run your handicraft operations as a business. Engage an ecommerce web development company as the first step and you will thoroughly enjoy the process of running your online handicrafts store.